October is National Bullying Prevention Month
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. As parents of preschoolers, we're terrified of bullying. Not so much that our kids might be tormented on playgrounds (which does make our stomachs turn), but, what if (even worse, perhaps), they become the aggressors?
Like other moms and dads, we're reading up on what to do or say. And we've learned that it's important to start early. A 2011 study from the Anti-Defamation League found that when kids as early as 3 were encouraged to respect differences, they showed less biased attitudes and behaviors. We believe that's a first step in helping to avoid potential bullying behaviors down the road.
We developed the Wee You-Things app to encourage our own kids to appreciate differences, in a slightly silly and super-fun way. The app received a 4-star (out of 4) review in USA Today, and was named New & Noteworthy by Apple.
In it, a quirky crew of characters celebrates "you-things" – those little and big things that, together, make you special and like no one else in the world. Ruth has a purple tooth. Little Dot gets scared a lot. Brad has two dads. Ling pretends that she's a king. After meeting 22 new friends, kids are asked, "What's your you-thing?," and get to become part of the story.
Wee You-Things sends the message that what makes you different is also what makes you awesome. Because we know that if kids feel good about themselves, they're less likely to put others down. It also provides a vocabulary for teaching young kids about differences – "Yep, that's her you-thing" – and has been sparking conversations around the dinner table. We hope it does at your house too.
Free You-Things printable
In support of National Bullying Prevention Month, a free printable activity sheet from the Wee Workshop introduces a few quirky, unique characters and invites kids to describe their own special "you-thing." Download it here.
Wee You-Things iOS app
Preview the app here in a video by Appysmarts, who named the app an Editor's Favorite.
Wee You-Things is designed for kids ages 3-7. It's now available for download in the App Store for $2.99, and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPad Mini.